Berwick Bandits 55-41 Glasgow Tigers

For once, Berwick managed to beat the weather as well as the opposition when they took on Glasgow at Shielfield.

By Keith Hamblin
Sunday, 3rd August 2014, 2:43 pm

After an amazing 16 rain-offs (home and away) so far this season, it looked as if this fixture was heading the same way when heavy rain moved in at tea-time.

The rain persisted to 6.30pm, but both teams were anxious to press on, and after the surface water was brushed off the track it was all systems go.

Unfortunately, conditions meant crowd levels were down, but Bandits did not let that deter them as they racked up another three match points to maintain their play-off push.

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The Tigers had drafted in new signing Victor Palovaara at number one, but his first visit to the Borders was one to forget as he failed to score from his four starts.

And with Rusty Harrison retiring at the back in all three of his outings, the visitors faced an uphill battle.

Theo Pijper, who had three wins, Anders Thomsen and Dimitri Berge tried to keep the pot boiling, but with the home side a lot more solid down the line it was obvious they were fighting a losing battle.

Claus Vissing was unbeaten in his first three races, Steen Jensen was always in the points and Matej Kus and David Bellego also popped up with useful wins.

But it was Kevin Doolan who looked the most comfortable, racing to three wins in his top score of 13 points.

Four heat advantages in the first six races saw Berwick establish a 24-12 advantage, Pijper the Tigers’ only race winner up to that stage in heat five.

But Thomsen won as a double pointed tactical ride in seven and when Pijper and Berge took a 2-4 in eight the deficit was cut to 29-22.

Berwick moved further ahead with two more heat advantages in nine and ten, including a 5-1 in the twice re-run heat ten, when Thomsen fell and then Kevin Wolbert came to grief on the first bend.

Pijper’s third win of the night in 11, as a double-pointer, meant Bandits led 41-31 with four to go.

Two 4-2s in 12 and 13 saw the home side across the line with wins for Kus and Doolan.

The all-action Berge won in 14, but it was Doolan who had the last word with his third win of the night in 15.

Conditions meant racing was processional - gating was all important - but under the circumstances the Berwick promotion were pleased just to get a full home team meeting under their belts . . . remarkably, only their second since mid-May.

Afterwards, team manager John Anderson said: “Under the circumstances all the riders need to be fully congratulated on finishing all 15 heats so fast with the awful weather before and threatening late in the match.

“To finish in an hour and 20 minutes was superb, and with that in mind I have to thank the track and pits’ staff and the referee for getting the meeting moving on so well.

“Also the result was excellent for us too, adding another three good Premier League po